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Hello! My name is Paula and I love to write. I have an affinity for words and I want to tell tales about life and share experiences. I now have my very own canvas. I’m so excited! I have wanted to be an author since I was a child. I graduated from the Morris Journalism Academy in 2007. It’s funny how sometimes your passions are put on the back burner, while life goes on. You have probably heard the line “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, (is it from a song? Not sure). I am blessed with the gifts of time and space now, and here I am doing what I love.Check out some of my articles.. Happy reading!


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Choice - Your Ultimate Freedom

“Wrong thoughts are inside us just because we identify ourselves with these thoughts. If we identify with something else, immediately they have to leave us.”
Sri Chinmoy Indian philosopher and teacher.

One of my favourite authors of self development books is Dr. Wayne Dyer. He has a common thread throughout his books: You can choose how you feel. It sounds like a great concept. If we were all able to do this surely most of us would choose to feel happy.

I believe going with the flow of life is certainly a lot easier than fighting everything that happens to you. I have practiced this and indeed it does work, life is easier when I let go of results. There are still a lot of instances when I think God doesn’t know what he’s doing and I better take over and that is usually when things really fall apart. If I could just remember that at the time! My emotions take over and I become so anxious that I feel I absolutely must take control of the situation, but how much power do we really have over outcomes?


Marianne Williamson talks about this in her book “A Return To Love”, another favourite of mine. “Events are always in flux,” she says, “One day they love you; the next day you’re their target. One day a situation is running smoothly; the next day chaos reigns. One day you feel like an okay person: the next day you feel like you’re an utter failure. These changes in life are always going to happen; they’re part of the human experience. What can change however is how we perceive those experiences.”

How we experience our world is about what is coming through our own filter of perception. Dr Dyer says, “The essence of greatness is the ability to choose personal fulfillment in circumstances where others choose madness.”

I read somewhere that The New York Times reported that because humans have 2-3000 thoughts per day, an athlete can improve his performance by reducing the number of thoughts running through his head by eliminating negative useless ones thus reducing the number to around 1200 or so. I don’t know if those figures are correct, some believe that our thoughts range from 12,000 to 60,000 daily. Regardless of statistics, there are a lot of different things we ponder on every day. We are continuously thinking. Most of the time subconsciously.

So how do we control these thoughts that will inevitably create our feelings? It is not an easy task. I find that I automatically react to certain situations with the same thought pattern and I have learnt that it is only when I challenge those ideas that my existence becomes less complicated.

Feel your feelings.

Many of us have different ways of avoiding feeling things that are to arduous or unpleasant. Unfortunately some self medicate with food, alcohol, drugs etc in order to escape unpleasant sentiments and this will lead to further misery. The trick is to stay with a feeling when it arises and just feel it. It is only by experiencing feelings that you can work on the thoughts that preceded them. A tool I find helpful is journaling my emotions as they come up. I let myself experience them and I write it all down. There are moments though where I automatically reach for my escape, whatever that may be at the time, so I still have a lot of work to do.

You have a choice.

Yes you do! You may not eliminate unpleasant emotions immediately, but reminding yourself that you have a choice in regards to your thoughts is a start.

Dr Dyer says that choice is your ultimate freedom. He uses an interesting example in his book. “Each time you become unhappy you are subjected to some treatment that you find unpleasant, such as being locked in room alone for hours or forced into a crowded elevator standing for days or you might be physically tortured or starved. Imagine you were subjected to one of these punishments until you make your unhappy feelings go away. How long do you think you would continue to hold on to them? Chances are you would take control rather quickly. So the issue is not whether you can take control of your feelings, but whether you will.”

Dr Dyer goes on to say that we all have the ability to not only choose how we feel, but we can select health over sickness as well. I don’t know how spiritually advanced you have to be to reach that goal, but it is a hopeful premise.

You can always choose constructive thoughts instead of destructive ones. For example when you are dreading an event, it is usually about what you tell yourself about it beforehand, “Oh, it’s going to be horrible...” Chances are it will be. These very thoughts have just created how you are going to feel.

It is like telling yourself the word “I can’t”. Granted you have to be realistic. For instance, I know that the time for me to attempt to become a great gymnast has probably passed by around 30 years! But be assured that if you keep thinking “can’t” you “won’t”.

To sum up: when a feeling arises allow yourself to saviour it, good or bad, journal or meditate and remember you have a choice to change your perception at this point in time. To quote Dr Dyer again ask yourself this when a negative emotion arises, “Why should I choose depression? Will it help me be more effective in dealing with it?”

"Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself." Robert F. Bennett author of Gaining Control: Your Key to Freedom and Success (1989).


“Coping.org: Tools for Coping with Life's Stressors” is an excellent site that offers helpful advice on how to get in touch with your feelings.
coping.org


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1 comment:

Effendi Rusdiana said...

How wonderful our life if we can control our emotion. Agree with you, I choose to be happy.

Thaks for sharing.

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